The path to success is not always easy – just ask aspiring entrepreneurs, and they will tell you the tiresome, persistent process that has kept them awake on many nights. As you continue to pursue your career dreams, reading up on some successful entrepreneurship stories can help boost morale, especially if you already have a business plan, have taken out a loan, and have found a space, and all you need is a boost of encouragement.
After all, starting a business from scratch is one of the scariest things in the world. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, think about the things that could go right and how one day, your name could fall in the list of best entrepreneur stories. Of course, if you read up on any entrepreneurship success story, you will find that most successful businessmen have gone through their fair share of struggles. Many of them failed but continued to pursue their goals relentlessly. Remember, perseverance is the key to success.
If you are just starting out your career, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed and may also want to quit. However, here are some successful entrepreneurs in the world and their stories to lift your spirits:
MaryBeth Hyland- Founder of Spark Vision
One of the most inspiring entrepreneur’s stories is of MaryBeth Hyland. She faced loads of abuse during her early life, which led her to question her self-worth. However, she delved into creating her own company, despite all her struggles. Spark Vision is a company that collaborates with other businesses and encourages them to maintain a collaborative office workplace, moving away from the toxic office culture.
Hyland has excelled in millennial engagement as she aims for her business to help businesses build close bonds with their employees. Her survival is an inspiration for all of us, especially because she uses her past experiences to connect with people. Hyland believes that all the ugly things she went through in life have helped her succeed, creating a name for her in the list of top entrepreneurship success stories.
The lesson we learn through Hyland’s story is that even the most successful entrepreneurs have a past. They are not as unbreakable as they seem. However, using your past and your experiences to help you excel is one of the biggest strengths that many people acquire to have. Hyland had a troubled childhood. However, instead of letting her life being taken away from her and being a victim of her experiences, she used the pain and hurt to motivate her and create a wonderful business that promotes a healthy office culture.
Eric Yuan – Founder of Zoom
Without Zoom, can you imagine what quarantine would have been like, especially since businesses and schools have turned to the platform to carry out their day-to-day tasks and activities? However, once you find out how Zoom came into existence, you will be shocked.
During the era of the internet boom – mid-’90s- Eric Yuan entered the US from China. However, it took eight tries as each time he applied for a visa, it was denied. He kept at it because he believed that he could do great things. Patience and perseverance kept him going. Finally, when he applied for a US visa the ninth time, he was approved! However, the entire process took two years.
Yuan worked for a Silicon Valley communication startup initially, and by 2012, he introduced Zoom to the world. Yuan did not want distance to be a significant factor in communication. He did not want lives to be based around a 12-hour train journey. Instead, he aimed for virtual communication techniques so that long-distance was no longer an issue.
Today, 750,000 companies use Zoom. It is used to connect businesses via video and audio conferencing, shared workplaces, chats, and more. The face-to-face video conferencing allows people to see each other in real-time, making communication more realistic and humanistic. It has also allowed millions of employees to work from home and communicate with their workplaces, giving many people a chance to apply to businesses offshore.
Yuan, like millions of other immigrants, had a hard time entering the country of his dreams. However, this did not discourage him. In fact, one of the reasons why Yuan’s entrepreneurship story is inspiring is because of his sheer determination and persistent nature. Having a success story of entrepreneurs is not easy. However, don’t give up, even if you have to wait a few years for your dreams to come true.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo- Founder of Care.com
When looking for successful entrepreneur stories, Marcelo’s could not be missed. She started her company, Care.com, in 2006, as a young mom. Care.com is an online database that gets caregivers in touch with those who want someone authentic to care for their loved ones or children while they are at work. Even though no one can replace the bond you share with your loved ones, the caregivers working via Care.com are skilled, compassionate, and responsible.
Marcelo got the idea to start this company because of her own personal experience. As a young working mom, she had to juggle her time between work, taking care of her children, and tending to her aging parents. Coupled with all the responsibilities, deadlines, and constant need to give support, Marcelo found herself buried deep in work. She wished to start a company for people, such as herself, who needed an extra hand in times of need. Today, Care.com is one of the most popular companies that is making its mark in the care industry.
What makes Marcelo’s company a story of successful entrepreneurs is that she had a need and was able to recognize other working people who may have the same need. Her niche market was clear-cut, and coupled with her personal experiences, she wished to make a difference and to ease people’s lives. Creating a platform to help find caregivers for people has been a huge success for Marcelo.
John Paul DeJoria– Founder of Patron Spirits and House of Blues
Are you familiar with Paul Mitchell hair products and Patron tequila? The one thing you might not is what these brands have in common. John Paul DeJoria is the mastermind behind both these companies, but he did not start off as a billionaire. In fact, his journey to success has been extremely difficult. Yet, he has managed to inspire millions and get his name included in the top stories of successful business entrepreneurs.
When DeJoria was 22, he had a two-and-a-half-year-old son and was on the streets. He has worked as a newspaper courier, janitor, and tow truck driver in the early years of his life to earn his bread and butter. Eventually, he started a new job at a hair care company and was introduced to Paul Mitchell.
From the start, DeJoria had a strong entrepreneurship vision. He was a determined boy who was not going to let the universe get in the way of his dreams. He partnered with Paul Mitchell, and with a loan of $700, both of them went on to build an empire which is today famously known as John Paul Mitchell Systems. DeJoria didn’t stop there. His thirst for success only became stronger. He went on to found Patron Spirits and co-founded the House of Blue chains. Today, DeJoria is also a philanthropist who fights for social issues. He helps provide resources to homeless people and continues to fight for justice.
DeJoria teaches us that you do not have to be born rich to become a successful entrepreneur story. You can be completely self-made and start from scratch if you have a clear vision, determination, and resilience. Hearing inspiring stories of people who went from nothing to everything is indeed inspiring.
Jan Koum- Founder of WhatsApp
For most people around the world, WhatsApp has become a very important part of their lives. In fact, many of us cannot imagine life without it. Even though there are other platforms that can be used to maintain long-distance relationships and day-to-day conversations between family and friends, a lot of us rely on the brilliant social media platform WhatsApp. However, you may not know the entrepreneur success story of Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp.
Koum comes from a small village in Ukraine. He was not born with abundant wealth. In fact, his struggling family moved to California when Koum was young as they were unable to make ends meet in Ukraine. When in California, Koum started to read more about computers whenever he got time. His interest started to develop, and by the age of 18, he had some brilliant skills computing skills. By 1997, he joined Yahoo! ‘s team as an infrastructure engineer. It is important to note that Koum educated himself and turned his hobby into a profession that could earn him billions someday.
Koum stayed a part of Yahoo! For a total of 10 years before he started to notice the boom of the app industry in 2009. He took a leap of faith and used his knowledge, skillset, and experience to launch WhatsApp Inc. Within just a few years, mainly by 2014, WhatsApp became one of the most popular social media applications known to mankind. Soon, Facebook purchased Koum’s application for a total of $19 billion.
The legendary founder of WhatsApp has a successful entrepreneur’s story because he was able to make the most of his circumstances. He did not have his father’s income or family money to fall back on. Instead, he studied and pursued his passion, and his hard work paid off.
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Itamar Gero – SEOreseller
Itamar started to show interest in programming and entrepreneurship at a young age. He sold his first commercial software at 16 and moved on to establish several other companies since then.
In 2011, Itamar founded SEOReseller.com, a white-label digital marketing company. He brought his years of experience in software development, marketing, search engine optimization, and SaaS building into the company. SEOReseller.com introduced a convenient, automated dashboard that was one of the first in the white-label SEO industry, innovating in a space that was at the time still heavily reliant on outdated methods like Excel sheets and professional emails to coordinate with partners, and track campaigns and marketing performance.
When delving into successful entrepreneur’s stories, Amoruso falls high on our list. She was diagnosed with ADHD when she was very young and could not cope at school. As a result, she was taken out of the education system. During her early years, she worked odd jobs and would waitress at restaurants, such as Subway. After her parents got divorced, Amoruso moved to Sacramento, CA. There, she had no money and spent her life hitchhiking, shoplifting, and stealing from dustbins.
However, in 2006, Amoruso had had enough. She wanted to get back on track and make a successful living. She started selling vintage clothes under the name Nasty Gal Vintage on eBay. Even though growth was slow initially, she did not give up. By 2008, her revenue shot up to $223,000, and by 2011, it stood at approximately $23 million. In fact, the New York Times also did a cover on her and named her the “Cinderella of Tech.”
Amoruso’s entrepreneur story has evolved over time. She has also written a book about her life and experience. This became a TV series and was aired by Netflix. Even though she is no longer the CEO of Nasty Gal, she singlehandedly made $20 million by collaborating with huge retail brands, such as Boohoo. In 2017, Amoruso became the founder of Girlboss Media. Her aim was to create a lifestyle magazine that focused mainly on entertaining millennial women.
Amoruso’s story of successful entrepreneurship teaches us that sometimes, life does not go as planned. Being born poor is one of the greatest struggles you may face. Even though you find yourself lost and struggling, and you may believe that the path never gets better, it is important to hold on. At some point, you must snap out of it and realize that only you have the power to change your life. Amoruso did just that. She did not let a few bad years affect her entire life. Entire, she decided to take things into her own hands and started small. Bit by bit, she grew and seized opportunities. Today, she has a brilliant story of successful entrepreneurship.
Pierre Omidyar- Founder of eBay
Do you want to know something super surprising? Paris-born Pierre Omidyar spent his prime years as a software developer who was jumping from gig to gig. In 1995, he launched an auction website and named it Auction Web. The idea behind this was to get rid of the possessions that he did not use and were taking space in his house. What seemed useless to Omidyar became worthy possessions to others. As soon as Omidyar realized this, all his focus was shifted towards his website, and soon enough, it began to grow. Over the next few years, a huge number of transactions took place each and every day. Eventually, Omidyar renamed the website and started marketing it as eBay.
In 1998, the website was publicly offered. This meant that Omidyar was now an entrepreneurship success story. He became a billionaire almost instantly. In fact, in 2018, his net worth was more than $11 billion. To this very day, eBay continues to dominate the market. It is definitely a success, even though several other enterprises have entered the market and are trying to compete with the initial auction website. Omidyar is also a famous philanthropist and has worked as a producer for many Hollywood firms. Talk about not putting all your eggs in one basket, are we right?
Pierre Omidyar may never have dreamt of becoming this big of an entrepreneur. He used his experience as a software developer and his absolute boredom to start selling things that were readily available in his house. As soon as he realized a common need, he knew he had to expand and commercialize. He seized a wonderful opportunity and took full advantage of it. Soon enough, he was able to build a platform that sold a variety of things to customers from different parts of the country. What makes this an interesting entrepreneur story is that Omidyar managed to invest in a side business- he used his creativity to become a well-known producer, making sure that his revenue continued to increase.
When discussing successful entrepreneurs and their stories, it is not possible for Richard Branson to stay off the list. For 40 years of his life, he switched from business to business, eager to try his hand at everything. This is incredible for someone who was never a good student and often struggled at school, was diagnosed with dyslexia at a very young age, and also received the title of Virgin when he started his first business. This was because of the mindset that he was a virgin at business, despite his age.
Despite all the laughs and mocks, Branson made a name for himself with his first enterprise. In the 1960s, he started importing and re-selling music records and also started managing the Student magazine. Due to his hard work, he was able to open up a record store in 1971 in London. Just like any other successful entrepreneur and their story, Branson was smart about reinvesting his money. He used it to build his very own company from scratch called Virgin Records. He built his name by using the contacts he had made when interviewing people for the Student, such as the famous band, the Rolling Stones.
From then on, Branson kick-started his career. He developed a number of products that became extremely famous in the market. He also provided services in a number of industries, such as aviation, media, beverages, and rail transport (to name a few). Today, his net worth has been estimated to $4.9 billion as Branson continues to invest his profits in numerous businesses and companies.
Branson is an example for young entrepreneurs who struggle to decide what they want to do in life. Many people find themselves in similar boats where they want to try everything before settling on a single career. Branson was able to do so. Even though he was humiliated by the common public every now and then, he proved them all wrong by becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Our advice to young entrepreneurs looking to be successful, earn billions, and make a name for themselves is to gain inspiration from stories of successful entrepreneurs in the world. Many entrepreneurs mentioned in this article started from absolutely nothing. The only thing all of them had in common was determination. All these entrepreneurs, regardless of their education, resources, or fields that they initially excelled in, were able to believe in themselves and create their own startups through their constant hard work, talent, and creativity.
In life, you will come across countless opportunities. The one thing that will help you stand out from your peers is knowing what opportunity to seize. Even though it is wise to take your time to decide what career you want to go towards, remember that time is of the essence. Hence, you only have a limited amount of time to show the world what you are capable of- make sure not to waste it.
If you have an idea, you must figure out opportunities to execute it. After all, what is stopping you? Starting your own business is as easy as it gets. All you need is patience, consistency, and of course, determination. Who knows? You could end up on a list of stories of successful entrepreneurs in the future!